Over 20 people enter Australia by boat

More than 20 individuals reportedly arrived by boat in a remote area of Western Australia, prompting the Australian Border Force (ABF) to emphasize that unauthorized arrivals will not be allowed to permanently settle in the country. The ABF, conducting an operation in the northwest of Western Australia, provided limited details due to the ongoing operation.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton asserted that the government had “lost control of our borders,” while Prime Minister Anthony Albanese maintained that Australia’s stringent policies remained unchanged. According to ABC reports, over 20 men, believed to be from Pakistan and Bangladesh, were discovered in the main street of Beagle Bay, 100 km north of Broome. The men were found in good health on the beach.

The government has not confirmed the reports, but the ABF reiterated Australia’s commitment to border protection, discouraging unauthorized boat travel and emphasizing that settlement in Australia is only permitted through legal means with an Australian visa.

Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister Patrick Gorman criticized the politicization of the issue by Dutton, emphasizing the long-standing practice of not commenting on Operation Sovereign Borders operational matters. Dutton called on Home Affairs Minister Clare O’Neil to provide an explanation.

Despite the Albanese government maintaining Operation Sovereign Borders policies, the opposition accused it of failing to prevent unauthorized maritime arrivals. In October, The Guardian revealed the transfer of 11 asylum seekers to Nauru, marking the first transfer in nine years. A group of 12 individuals who arrived on the Western Australian coast in November were taken into ABF custody. The individuals found in Beagle Bay are likely to be taken to Nauru, as per information from Guardian Australia. As of January 4, there were 15 people under regional processing arrangements on Nauru, according to officials from the Department of Home Affairs.

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